MP introduces bill to restore tax benefits

  • Dec. 20, 2010 1:00 p.m.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen has introduced a bill that would restore the full northern residents tax deduction to everyone living on Haida Gwaii. Mr. Cullen brought the bill forward on Dec. 15, a week after Parliament voted in favour of his bill calling for a ban on oil tanker traffic along the north coast. The MP said it was “ridiculous” that Canada’s income tax regulations don’t recognize Haida Gwaii as a northern and remote community. Islanders did receive the full deduction until the program was amended in 1993. At that point, the islands were listed as an “intermediate zone”, and residents became eligible for only half the deduction. Depending on income, the full deduction can be worth more than $5,000. Mr. Cullen said Haida Gwaii, like other isolated areas of Canada, has many resource sector jobs that tend to be seasonal or fluctuate through cycles, making it difficult for employers to recruit and retain workers. Haida Gwaii is also much more isolated than other communities at the same latitude and residents face a higher than average cost of living because of freight charges. Additionally, the federal government itself recognizes the remoteness of Haida Gwaii in the pay scale of federal employees. Finally, he said, extending the full deduction to islanders will not cost the government very much, but it would have a big local impact. “We’re just trying to crack this nut that is Revenue Canada,” he said this week, adding that islanders have been trying to get the full deduction back for many years with no success. “At the very least, I think the people of Haida Gwaii deserve an explanation… All we’re asking for is a transparent formula.” Mr. Cullen said the quickest way for the federal government to deal with his bill would be to incorporate the change in the 2011 budget, which will be voted on in the next couple of months. If that doesn’t happen, it will likely take his bill six to eight months to wind its way through Parliament, Mr. Cullen said. A positive vote is not assured, although Mr. Cullen, a member of the NDP, was successful in gathering Liberal and Bloc Quebecois support for his oil tanker bill.

Just Posted

PHOTO GALLERY: Masset takes off on Terry Fox Run

More than $1,000 raised for Terry Fox Foundation

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

Prince Rupert’s ferry issue is a North Coast issue, MLA Rice

Prince Rupert not alone in fight to save ferry to Ketchikan: Alaskan Rep. Ortiz

Brand new vessel for Massett Marine Rescue

The Tagwaal was unveiled to the public Sept. 6

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

Most Read